Finding appropriate manga for elementary readers can be difficult! Here's a quick list of all the manga I've reviewed that is appropriate for this age group and to which I gave a rating of 7/10 or more. I'll keep adding as I review more, so you might want to bookmark this page and check back to see what else I've found.
Additionally, you should definitely check out this list compiled by Ashley Hawkins, the Manga Librarian, which might have some overlap.
This February, I not only helped co-chair the CSLA 2022 Virtual Conference, I presented yet again! I love being able to share what I'm passionate about and to help others find great books to put on their shelves. Take a look at the resources below.
In 2020, I challenged myself to read a book a day and made my goal of 366 books (as it was a leap year!). This was made a little more possible by the state-wide shut-down in March of 2020, where California basically stopped operating and everyone stayed in their homes for months on end. In 2021, with going back to in-person teaching and a little bit of normal life, I brought that challenge down to 300. Then, a personal tragedy in November forced me well off my reading goal, so I *only* read 275 books in 2021. I'm still very pleased with how many books I was able to read. Here's to hopefully getting to 300 in 2022!
Normally I like to limit my best books to 10, but this year, I just couldn’t bring myself to cut it down!
So that multiple volumes don't clog up this list, I have included all volumes of a series as one item. To be fair to everything I've read this year, I haven't included my personal favorite series that were being re-released this year, such as Fullmetal Alchemist, which received a beautiful hardcover edition, The Fullmetal Edition, or Sailor Moon, which is being republished in a really hefty Eternal Edition.
I attended AASL in October of 2021, and had MANY titles to recommend. In this list, I have combined Elementary (ELEM), Middle School (MS), and High School (HS) recommendations but have notated on the list which would be appropriate for each age group. I also book-talked most of these titles and explained the rationale for each age group rating, so let me know if you have any questions!
One (good) problem of a growing graphic novel section is how to shelve all the wonderful titles so that students and patrons may easily find them. I recently did an overhaul of my shelving system in my graphic novel area, and the results have been positively received by my students. They all say that it has been easier to find what they want to read, and I don't even have signage out yet to explain how things are shelved!
Another reason to redesign your shelving system is to maximize shelving. Shelving graphic novel together by format instead of shelving all graphic novels intermixed means you'll have similar format sizes all together, and can adjust shelving. Manga tends to be much shorter than most books, so you can usually fit another shelf in this section. Comicbooks are a bit taller, so depending on your shelving, you mind need a little more room here.
Here was my old shelving system: All graphic novels were pulled out of regular Dewey order, but still maintained a 741.5 label on the spine. All manga were shelved together alphabetically by mangaka (manga creator); all comicbooks were shelved together alphabetically by author; all graphic novels were shelved together alphabetically by author. Now, I have four different sections: Manga, Comicbooks, Graphic Fiction, and Graphic Nonfiction. Read on to find out what I’ve done and some tips on how to implement this in your library.
Special thanks to Emily R., Megan T., and Chris D. for chatting repeatedly with me about the best scheme to use to reorganize this whole section.
July means Eisner month! This year, ComicCon@Home happened mostly on YouTube, so you can watch the entire awards ceremony if you're into that sort of thing. The awards were held on July 23rd, 2021.
Titles are nominated by a panel of folks in the comics industry, a librarian, and an academic researcher. Then, comics industry folks, librarians, and comic academics can vote for the winners. While the panel of folks have read all of these titles (and many more!), those voting for winners definitely do not need to have read everything to vote. The entire list of winners AND nominees is full of some amazing titles because they were the BEST of what the small committee read this year. I suggest checking out the full list of winners and nominees posted here by the Comics Beat. Since this website is School Library related, I'll be posting the winners and nominees for categories that will help school librarians with their purchasing decisions.
I definitely haven't read all of these amazing titles (yet!), but where I can, I have linked my review of the titles I have finished. As always, this list means I have even more titles to add to my towering TBR pile!
Not sure where to start with buying manga for your library? Don't worry, you're not alone. This is probably the #1 question I get from school librarians. So, to help you and many others out, here is a list of recommendations to start.
I’ve separated the list into three groups. Start with Group One, and if you have money left over, head on to Group Two and even Three!
So that multiple volumes don't clog up this list, I have included all volumes of a series as one item. To be fair to all series involved, I haven't included my favorites that were re-released this year, which include Fullmetal Alchemist, Sailor Moon, and Magic Knight Rayearth.
Check out an article I wrote on the importance of including LGBTQ+ graphic novels in our library collections. It was published in Issue 32 of Diamond Bookshelf, a publication by Diamond Distributing.
LGBTQ+ Comics: Why we can no longer afford to be scared.
Do you have a friend or family member who avidly reads graphic novels, and you're not sure what to buy them for the holidays? Check out this buying guide of top books from 2020 that would be perfect as gifts.
In the titles of each, I have indicated whether these would be good purchases by audience level:
Elementary (Grades 3-5) = EL
Middle School (Grades 6-8) = MS
High School (Grades 9-12) = HS
Adult = AD
These age ranges are suggestions - there's nothing that says a high schooler or an adult wouldn't love a book I've tagged as elementary, but often the higher age ratings means there's something mature or inappropriate for younger audiences.
I have also included my genre tags and noted read-alikes in the hopes that this helps you find the perfect books for your friends and family.
This section is where I will post general information about graphic novels, news, or other things I feel are relevant to the development of graphic novel sections in libraries.
I've been reading Manga and comicbooks for years. Now, it's time to share my knowledge with you.
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